This Memorial Day weekend, temperatures will be climbing into the upper 90’s. While it’s temping to engage in strenuous outdoor activities, it’s best to stay indoors. But if you’re going to venture out, Scottsdale Fire is urging you to take precautions in order to avoid heat-related stress.
First, you should know the warning signs of heat-related stress. Heat cramps is the body’s way of saying “enough.” Go inside and drink room-temperature water. Avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, full-strength Gatorade and alcohol.
Individuals suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature control system is overloaded and the body can no longer cool itself. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if you don't drink enough water and rest in the shade. Call 911 if a person becomes confused, passes out, or stops sweating.
When a person is excessively sweating, has dizziness, headache, nausea /vomiting or feels weak, they are showing signs of heat exhaustion. If the person does not feel better 10-15 minutes after going inside and drinking water, call 911. If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, a severe form of heat illness.
Preventing heat-related illness is key. If you’re going hiking or doing some other physical outdoor activity, Scottsdale Fire says to pre-hydrate days before your activity. Bring plenty of water along and carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, along with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and use sunscreen of SPF or higher.
Although any one can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.